Vol.3, No.6, 456-458 (2011) Natural Science
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. OPEN ACCESS
CO2: Different interpretation of the same data
Ladislav Kurc1, Jan Kurc2
1Department of Organic Technology, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, Czech Republic; opekaro@biomed.cas .cz
2Deceased in 2009.
Received 4 February 2011; revised 10 March 2011; accepted 3 April 2011.
From the complex topic, fundamental and com-
prehensible arguments are selected and pre-
sented so that the effect of atmospheric CO2
concentration on balance in troposphere can be
clearly evaluated. Presentation of relative values
as used in the last report of an accredited scien-
tific authority, the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), leads to considerable
overestimation of the real situation. We docu-
ment that the outcomes from this report of IPCC
are provably false. Using a simple calculation, it
is possible to demonstrate that the elevating of
CO2 concentration does not cause the global
warming in a degree that is expected basing on
the report.
Keywords: Carbon Dioxide; Global Warming
Evaluation of the effect of CO2 on global climate
change should have an unequivocal scientific basis. This
cannot be replaced by information in newspapers, al-
though the topic is popular in the media.
In the past few decades, the clearly presented theory
of the greenhouse effect and the contribution of some
gasses to global warming together with information on
the increase in the CO2 content in the atmosphere, cli-
matic extremes and catastrophic events addressed a ma-
jority of voters in democratic establishments.
The topic of combating global warming has been
adopted by politicians who, however, are not sufficiently
competent to search for the right answers to aspects
where even the professional public cannot come to an
Thus, the concern of voters is elevated to the higher
stages of politicians coping with suitable rhetoric and an
accommodating attitude towards reducing CO2 emission.
For politicians, combating global warming has been
confined mainly to reduction of fossil CO2 emission. To
compensate for their professional incompetence, politi-
cians have established and support a scientific-political
institution—the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) which, once every five years, publishes
popular scientific attitudes dedicated to their founders—
politicians and their voters. Reports of this Institution
are supported by hundreds of experts of narrow spe-
cializations and as such are also presented to public. The
information coming from IPCC reports are considered
irrefutable and are used by other authors without critical
evaluation [1,2]. The simplification of the IPCC atti-
tudes, which is obviously necessary for mass media
communication, however, borders on presentation of
manipulative information.
Above all, information about the contribution of CO2
to global warming deserves relevant criticism.
The radiative forcing (RF) is a concept used for quan-
titative evaluation of the effect of greenhouse gases on
the energy commodity balance on the Earth. For the
contribution of CO2, RF is a product of an adjustable
constant and the logarithm of its concentration in ppm
units. Eq.1:
RF = 5.35 ln [CO2] (1)
The constant was specified by Myhre [3], and is valid
for CO2 concentrations above 280 ppm. Since the di-
mension of RF is W·m–2 (energy output per area), the
partial contributions (inputs) of individual components
affecting the Earth’s energy budget can be summed.
In its material of 2007 [4], IPCC reports the RFIPCC
values (to differentiate from RF as originally defined,
RFIPCC is used here) as the difference between the radia-
tive forcing of green house gas estimated in a current
day and the reference value measured at the beginning
of the industrial era in 1750, when the CO2 concentra-
tion was 280 ppm (Eq.2). For example, for calculation
of the radiative forcing difference (RFIPCC) of CO2 in
2005, the concentration of CO2 measured in this year
L. Kurc et al. / Natural Science 3 (2011) 456-458
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. OPEN ACCESS
(380 ppm) is substituted to the Eq. 3:
RFIPCC (CO2)the year = RF (CO2)the year - RF (CO2)1750
RFIPCC (CO2)2005 = 5.35 ln [380] - 5.35 ln [280]
= 31.78 – 30.15 = 1.63 W·m–2
The reference RF value (RF1750 = 30.2 W·m–2) is sub-
tracted from the total RF in 2005 (RF2005 = 31.8 Wm-2).
The resulting difference in the radiative forcing RFIPCC in
2005 equals 1.6 W·m–2 and differs from the total radia-
tive forcing by an order of magnitude and thus cannot be
used as an indicator of climate response.
This fundamental, although formally acceptable modi-
fication is neither emphasized nor distinguished in the
terminology. Using the values of the radiative forcing
difference (RFIPPC) instead of the radiative forcing (RF)
may cause the public bewilderment.
The importance of this terminology confusion is well
illustrated by following example.
A doubling of carbon dioxide concentration (from 380
ppm to 760 ppm) results in an RF change from 31.8 to
35.5 W·m–2. This means that a 100% change in the actual
CO2 concentration causes an overall change in RF of only
11.6%. This is a consequence of the dependence of RF on
the logarithm of the CO2 concentration. If the same
change in CO2 concentration is evaluated by the IPCC
calculation, the value of RFIPCC increases from 1.6 to 5.3
W·m–2; thus the percentage change equals 230%. It is
evident that this value obtained by the IPCC calculations
looks much more formidable than the real value of 11.6%.
Supported by media promotion, in 2007 IPCC serially
publicized the 4th Evaluation Report and, in the same
year, IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The report of Working Group IThe Physical Sci-
ence Basis was published as the first issue.
From this report [4], all the media quoted an impressive
communication: “For the 1995 to 2005 decade, the
growth rate of CO2 in the atmosphere was 1.9 ppm·yr–1
and the CO2 RFIPCC increased by 20%: this is the largest
change observed or inferred for any decade in at least
the last 200 years.” Of course, this alarming message
calls for the necessity of CO2 emission reducing and
public understanding for the inevitability of the accom-
panying costs.
However, the information above is false. We used the
same methodology and computation procedure for
RFIPCC calculation and the same starting data as used by
IPCC in the report [4] to verify their conclusions. The
data calculated from the CO2 concentrations reported by
Mauna Loa, Hawaii station, are shown in Table 1.
In accordance with the IPCC report, the increase in
the difference in radiative forcing during the last decade
equals 20% but this value is far from being the highest
one in the last 200-year period. It is evident that, during
the decades 1965-1975 and 1975-1985, the increase in
the difference in radiative forcing (RFIPCC) was even
higher than 25%.
It is troubling that the institution established to search
for and evaluate the real evidence presents unsound
communications and does not posses a mechanism that
would correct this lapse over the past three years.
From the RFIPCC values given in the Table 1, it is also
obvious that its values have rather tended to decrease
over the past four decades, despite the intense global
energy development (increasing CO2 emissions). This
fact points to an unsuitable argument in employing the
change in RFIPCC.
Evaluation of climate change in response to changes
in radiative forcing is based on the available recent data.
Therefore, for the small changes in radiative forcing, it
is possible to estimate temperature changes by extrapo-
lation. As we calculated above, the CO2 concentration
doubling resulted in and augmentation of 11.6% in its
total radiative forcing. If the energy contribution of CO2
were to be 11.6% of the present-day level, it is plausible
to expect a proportional effect on the global temperature.
Hence, for a two-fold increase in the CO2 concentration, a
temperature increase of 0.25˚C - 1.0˚C, can be anticipated,
which is in contrast with the expert forecasts of global
warming in a broad interval of 2˚C - 8˚C. At the present,
Table 1. Increase in the difference in radiative forcing of CO2
in the last four decades.
Starting year of decade CO2 concentration [ppm]RFIPCC for the year [W·m–2]Decade Increase in RFIPCC in decade [%]
1965 320.0 0.71 1965-1975 25.68
1975 331.1 0.89 1975-1985 26.20
1985 345.9 1.13 1985-1995 19.76
1995 360.6 1.35 1995-2005 20.56
2005 379.8 1.63 - -
L. Kurc et al. / Natural Science 3 (2011) 456-458
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. OPEN ACCESS
rate of combustion of fossil carbon fuels and concentra-
tion of CO2 an increase of 1.9 ppm·yr–1, this situation
could occur after 200 years.
From the presumptive extend of climate susceptibility
to changes in radiative forcing estimated by IPCC [5] it
follows that a doubling of CO2 concentration enhances
the average global temperature by about 3 degrees of
Celsius. This would mean that climate sensitivity equals
to 0.8 degree of Celsius per one RF unit (W/m2). This
allegation is accepted in prestigious scientific publica-
tions [1,2] as a proven fact. It should be considered,
however, that on doubling of the CO2 concentration, the
contemporaneous RF (CO2) value increases from 100%
to 111.6 %. If the climate sensitivity presented by IPCC
were correct, then a simple energy balance would show
that the green house effect (100%, currently) increases
the global temperature by 26 degrees of Celsius, which
is far beyond generally accepted range of 2-8 Celsius
degree. This is a crucial discrepancy, which should lead
to a correction of climate sensitivity and hence to cor-
rection of projections of future changes in climate.
The data presented above lead to a number of ques-
tions. For some of them, like “is Myhre’s model [3] of
RF dependence on the CO2 concentration correct?” the
answer is simple. Yes. The logarithmic character of the
dependence originates from a law of nature. Some ques-
tions cannot be answered: Are the costs spent for reduc-
tion of CO2 emissions to prevent the slight climate
warming appropriate? This question has to be addressed
by voters and their politicians. Environmental business
consumes huge resources. An evidently purposeless part
of them could have been used to combat, e.g., malignant
tumors, which now represent much greater menace for
mankind than global warming
This article was supported by the Czech National Agency for Agri-
cultural Research, project No, QH91303.
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